What is a Contract in Computer Science?
A contract is simply an agreement between two or more persons.
Essentials of a contract
a) Offer and Acceptance. In order to create a valid contract, there must be a ‘lawful offer’ by one party and ‘lawful acceptance’ of the same by the other party.
b) All parties are legally competent/ capacity of parties. If either of the parties does not have the capacity to contract, the contract is not valid i.e. must be sound of mind and old enough.
c) There must be a consideration: each party receiving/providing something. Consideration has been defined in various ways- consideration is known as quid pro-quo or something in return or Consideration is the price for which the promise of the another is brought.
d) Lawful Object The object of an agreement must be valid The Object is said to be unlawful if
a. it is forbidden by law;
b. it is of such nature that if permitted it would defeat the provision of any law;
c. it is fraudulent;
d. it involves an injury to the person or to public policy property of any other;
e. The court regards it as immoral or opposed.
e) Possibility of Performance If the act is impossible in itself, physically or legally, if cannot be enforced at law
f) Not Declared to be void or Illegal The agreement though satisfying all the conditions for a valid contract must not have been expressly declared void by any law in force in the country
g) Free Consent. ‘Consent’ means the parties must have agreed upon the same thing in the same sense
h) Legal Formalities An oral Contract is a perfectly valid contract, expect in those cases where writing, registration etc. is required by some statute.
i) Intention to Create Legal Relationship. In case, there is no such intention on the part of parties, there is no contract.
Types of Contracts in IT and Computer Science
Consultancy and contract hire
Fixed price contracts for bespoke systems
Time and materials contract
Liability for detective software
Health and safety